Soccer game

Field conditions stop McNeese’s football game with Rice

LAKE CHARLES — McNeese’s football season opener against Rice was ruined after just 10 minutes of play when, after three different players were injured on the same side of the field, the game was called off due to poor field conditions.

No makeup has been announced and the Cowgirls, playing for the first time since November 2019, will attempt to host Nicholls on Friday, February 12 to open play from the Southland Conference.

McNeese’s coaching staff and facilities department have worked tirelessly to get the field back in shape since Hurricanes Laura and Delta caused severe damage to the area.

“We’ve been working diligently to get the north end of the field ready for play and we feel good about it,” Cowgirls head coach Drew Fitzgerald said. “Rice got warmed up on that side of the pitch and the referees checked that as well and gave him the go-ahead. But in 10 minutes (playing) there were three injuries, all in the field sport. After discussing it with the referees and with (Rice head coach) Brian (Lee), we decided it was in the best interest to call the game with player safety our primary concern.

Fitzgerald said the match probably could have ended without further issue, but the risk was not worth it.

“It’s too early to say what the plan is,” Fitzgerald said of future home games. “We will discuss with our service the facilities of our ground while exploring other local grounds to play.

“Obviously we are very disappointed with today’s result.”

Thursday’s game was the first of eight home games to be played at Cowgirl Field this spring.

Copyright 2021 KPLC. All rights reserved.